From: John S. Pistole, TSA Administrator
To: TSA Employees
RE: Policies & Procedures Update
Summer's here! More Americans are traveling, and I thought I'd just take the time to drop a note to my big, happy family of TSA line agents.
1. Hygiene Reminder: People, people, please remember to wear your gloves! It's summer, and it's hot, and you're probing the groins of a higher number of people, and lots of them are sweaty, and . . . I'm just saying. I don't want to be presiding over some sort of outbreak scenario here.
2. Working For the TSA Is a Privilege: Always remember that you have grave responsibility and power conferred upon you: the power to grope the genitals of complete strangers. Better yet, they aren't allowed to grope you in return. No backsies! Tell me, do your friends working a shift at Dairy Queen have those sorts of perks? But look: this brings up a slightly uncomfortable subject. Human sexuality is wondrous and beautiful. It's completely normal to have certain feelings and urges, even when you are working, especially when your work requires you to touch the primary and secondary sex characteristics of strangers. But the time to express those urges openly is not on the job — it's after work, or at least during an approved break.
3. Substance alert: I've been getting some questions about people carrying the ashes of loved ones here, and I understand there is some confusion about proper protocol. What it comes down to is this: I trust you, people. If your instinct is that ashes are dangerous, you just go ahead and poke around in that flier's grandma. I've got your back. Maybe the person's dead, but that doesn't eliminate all threats. Jesus Christ came back from the dead, and he was Middle Eastern, amirite? See, that's just the type of levity that will help lighten the mood when you're sorting through the remains of dead people in front of the bereaved. Logic also works: tell the passenger that you would have full authority to probe their father if he were alive, so it makes no rational sense to complain about you doing it when he's dead.
4. Hiring Alert: I'm excited to announce that we're increasing our presence at Amtrak stations. We believe that Amtrak's commitment to efficiency and safety and our commitment to customer service and good judgment make a winning combination. As a result, we're hiring again! Got a friend who has been out of a job? Have they been drifting through life aimlessly? They can find pride again searching random strangers at a train and/or bus station!
5. Regarding Pay: Look, people, I'm doing everything I can on the Hill to get your salaries bumped up. But let me remind you: self-help is OUT as an option. You'll get raises. Just keep your eye on the balls.
6. Kudos Time: I just wanted to give a shoutout to my dear friend, Blogger Bob, who writes tirelessly to promote the idea that what the TSA does is necessary and appropriate. Bob's a bit of a jokester! Just the other day he said to me, "Hey Johnny — what would happen if the American people started probing all these lists of items seized and asking hard questions — like 'how does this compare to what was seized pre-TSA?' and 'did any of these people have terrorist ties, or was there any indication that they meant to do harm?' or 'how are these seizures from bags connected to touching the genitals of grandmothers and children?'" And then I said — and I kept a straight face, people — "Yeah, what if the media started asking tough questions, too?" And then we busted up. That's just the type of team we are around here.
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